Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Guide editor | May 24, 2014

Memorial Day weekend

I usually whine when I have to work all weekend. After working all week, it can be hard to drag yourself out of bed on Saturday morning — even if it is only once a month.

Memorial Day weekend fell on my weekend on call so I forced myself out of bed Saturday morning to attend the VFW’s Memorial Day service. It’s so easy for us to think of Memorial Day as a three-day weekend, so it was a nice reminder of what the day should really be about — honoring those brave men and women we lost.
The speech given by Col. John Grant, Air Force, Commander 108th Scottish Highlanders Honor Squadron, was emotional and moving as he told of his first visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. with his son. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend no matter how you spent it, and hopefully we all took a moment to reflect on those who made the greatest sacrifice.

After the ceremony, I drove out to Fines Creek to Wildcat Ridge Farm to see Chef Ricardo’s peonies. If you haven’t been there I suggest you go now since they were peaking last Saturday. I always enjoy any excuse to drive out Crabtree Road — what beauty we have around us here!

After doing a few more errands around town Saturday, Matt and I graciously accepted an invitation to Songwriters in the Round at Balsam Mountain Inn. If you are looking to get away or a couple of days but can’t go far, I recommend finding some peace and quiet at the historic inn.

And make sure you plan it around this once a month event where you can enjoy a fantastic buffet dinner while listening to several Nashville singer/songwriters sit in a circle and play music. Last year I walked away with a new appreciation for the songwriters behind some of the biggest songs in country music.

This year I had the pleasure of hearing bluegrass greats Carl Jackson, Jerry Salley and Larry Cordle. They have written songs for Ricky Skaggs, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley Loretta Lynn and more.

To get your tickets for next months’ show, visit or call 1-800-224-9498.


In The Guide

I know I say this every week, but I’m excited about all the awesome features we have in this week’s Guide. UNCA student Kristian Buckner (you may have read her blog on our website) has joined our team this summer as an intern and she has some amazing ideas in store for you.

This week she wrote her very first newspaper feature on the Appalachian JAM Camp, which you can read about on page X. On the Buncombe and Beyond side of The Guide, she did her own version of “Humans of New York” by randomly asking people in Asheville questions.

I think this will be an interesting addition to our Asheville coverage because there are so many interesting people in the community. Next week she may venture out to talk to some Haywood folks so be on the lookout.

Guide contributor will take you day tripping out to the River Arts District in Asheville to show you some of the highlights since there is so much to see yet so little time!

Lastly, Shelby Harrell wrote a story about her favorite American Idol Caleb Johnson — who apparently recorded his very first record at a small studio in Canton. She heard it firsthand and said there is no mistaking his voice. Read all about that on page X.

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